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Some Paulding residents take issue with lack of transparency
by Tom Spigolon
April 10, 2014 10:54 AM | 2160 views | 2 2 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(Staff / Samantha M. Shal) Dallas resident Jan Louie feeds Dharma, her palomino quarter horse, and Febe, a chocolate mini horse, in the pasture behind her home.
(Staff / Samantha M. Shal) Dallas resident Jan Louie feeds Dharma, her palomino quarter horse, and Febe, a chocolate mini horse, in the pasture behind her home.
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Jan Louie moved from bustling Decatur to rural Paulding in 2005 for the peace and quiet. So did Anthony Avery after moving from Fayette County in 2007.

Both received a shock in October when they heard of plans for passenger flights at Silver Comet Field airport.

Louie said she decided to become involved in legal proceedings, including seeking a new federal environmental review of the airport’s plans, because of the need to help residents whose lives will be affected by airport expansion.

“Sometimes you’re just faced with things you have to do something about,” she said.

Avery moved to a site about seven miles from the airport in 2007 after a 27-year career as a firefighter. He said he soon saw what he felt was the need to monitor the county government closely after a series of proposed property tax increases, including one approved in 2010.

In late 2012, Avery watched the county airport authority vote to approve a lease with the company proposing to establish passenger flights at the facility. He said he believed the project, dubbed “Silver Comet” by officials, concerned the Silver Comet Trail walking path.

He said he “jumped on” the chance to join in a legal proceeding to stop a court’s approval of a bond issue for runway and taxiway work.

“I had no qualms about it,” he said. “That’s all a part of doing right.”

Avery and Louie agreed the airport authority was not as transparent as it should have been about the lease with Silver Comet Partners, whose plans for development of surrounding land for aerospace-related companies included recruitment of a passenger airline. Louie said she and her husband, Jordan, searched for more than a year to find enough land for their home and a horse. They subsequently dealt with a public entity using eminent domain rights to place power lines on their property, and contended with talk of a toll superhighway through the area.

The couple now operates a graphic design studio in their home, which adjoins the Silver Comet Trail about five miles from the airport on Rockmart Highway. “Blood, sweat and tears went into this,” she said of finding a site for her home. “[Proposed jet service] is really upsetting to me.”

Louie said she favored job creation in Paulding but not through the use of passenger jets and what she said would be its accompanying pollution and noise.

“We definitely want more jobs and whatever they can do to get that done,” Louie said. “All that’s coming with big airlines, we don’t need that.”

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Claire Bacon
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April 10, 2014
My husband and I moved here in 2012 from over-populated Florida. When I we came upon our house I knew right then and there that this was to be our new home. All peace and quiet and in the woods on 1 acre. Little did we know of the sneaky shenanigans going on behind closed doors. If we had we might have given our home a second thought and moved elsewhere.
Bianca Green
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April 11, 2014
We feel the same way. My late father-in-law moved to the North Paulding area because of how quiet it was in the surrounding area. They moved in during the start of the building process of NPHS. He always knew they were going to widen SR61 but never knew the reasons. He was also supportive of the reservoir going in in that area. My husband and I have been looking for property in North Paulding, and now that we learned about their plans, we're afraid of the county's sneaky way of doing things. There are talks about connecting SR278 and 61, but we are not sure where, and it has not be clear either. Worrying about where this massive construction will end up, has had us wondering about where we'd like to live. It saddens me that they would want to "develop" the area, since the whole reason for living where we do, as I'm sure many others feel the same way, is for the quiet and undeveloped beauty in which we reside. The county is inflating the numbers, in my opinion, because all I see are unfinished subdivisions and not many people rushing in to complete these subdivision. We will no longer have the quiet, rural, "beautiful country" that everyone speaks of all the way down into Florida. It's a shame that residents have to have sneaky officials, in order to approve of things behind our backs. I'm sure more people would go to the town meetings, I guess we must help make others aware of these meetings in order to help the cause.
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